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Obsolete80 12-05-2012 09:20 AM

Strings
 
I'm new to bass and have a couple of string related questions...

What bass strings (4 string) can anyone recommend?
Also what gauge would be suitable? - the bass I have still has the manufacturers strings on and have no idea what they are!

Ziphoblat 12-05-2012 09:37 AM

Standard gauge is usually 45-105. I'd recommend Rotosound personally, especially as you're in the UK (they're easily as good as the more expensive strings but cheaper as they're not imported). I've tried most of the common string brands out there and ended up settling for Rotosound, for both the price (I replace my strings at least once a month), the sound, and the way they feel against the hands. Really the only way to know which brand works for you is to try a different one out every time you swap strings until you start to develop preferences. But Rotosound are definitely worth a go.

Spaz91 12-05-2012 10:09 AM

Medium gauge tends to be 100/105 to 40/45/50 depending on the brand and type of string. Personally I prefer heavy gauge strings as they feel nicer, need less tweaking, hold tune longer and have a much nicer low end. Others prefer lighter gauge as they have less tension and are brighter so they're good for slap and tapping, etc.

Elites, Warwick (Red Label) and Rotosound (Rotobass) are best in the UK for not breaking the bank. There are other cheap brands but I don't really trust them.

Do not go to Dawsons or Forsyth's! I can't stress this enough. Go to Strings Direct or Stringbusters.

Unless the manufacturer states which strings they use then I can guarantee they are wank.

Also take into account Nickel and Stainless Steel differences, though you're a guitarist so I'm sure you know those anyway (the differences are more pronounced on bass guitars though, especially how they feel.)

Ziphoblat 12-05-2012 10:27 AM

Quote:
Do not go to Dawsons or Forsyth's!


What's wrong with Dawsons? Is it a particular store or the chain as a whole? I've never had a bad experience at the Dawsons in Leeds, they've always been quite helpful (they went out of their way to help me source a particular pedal I needed to replace the day before a gig once actually).

Spaz91 12-05-2012 10:30 AM

Dawsons is great (I've bought more than a few basses from them) however their string prices are ludicrous, Forsyth's moreso.
(I say these two shops specifically because he's from Manchester.)

Ziphoblat 12-05-2012 10:46 AM

Ah, fair play then... I've never bought strings from there, they've never got them in stock anyway, and there's a local Music Room who sell the Rotosounds I use pretty cheap and have student discount, so can't really go wrong.

dark Mass 12-05-2012 04:27 PM

I recommend DR Strings Hi Beams or Fat Beams if want a SS set with lower tension as both are roundcore strings. They also are smoother than the Rotosound 66's but are more expensive.

As for nickle strings DR Strings Nickle Lo-Riders and Sunbeams are great string albeit more expensive than their SS brethren in DR's product line up.

I personally use the Fat-Beams Medium gauge(45-105) on my four string basses.

John Swift 12-05-2012 06:33 PM

As I've said before when this topic arrives I find the 0.045s (G) that seem to be the satndard today to be too thin and weak.
I always buy a separate 0.055 which gives more punch, in the 60s the standard Fender 'G' was .054.

Deliriumbassist 12-05-2012 06:38 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziphoblat
What's wrong with Dawsons? Is it a particular store or the chain as a whole? I've never had a bad experience at the Dawsons in Leeds, they've always been quite helpful (they went out of their way to help me source a particular pedal I needed to replace the day before a gig once actually).


Dawson's in Chester was shit when I was in the city.

Musicroom here in Lincoln is shit as well. I was in the market for a fretless not too long ago, went in, eyed up a Vigier. 3 members of staff were nearby discussing X Factor, two of those walk past me to take personal phone calls. After 15 minutes I left the shop and sent an email to the manager saying his staff must get pretty good wages before commission if they can afford not to approach customers.

Ziphoblat 12-05-2012 08:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deliriumbassist
Dawson's in Chester was shit when I was in the city.

Musicroom here in Lincoln is shit as well. I was in the market for a fretless not too long ago, went in, eyed up a Vigier. 3 members of staff were nearby discussing X Factor, two of those walk past me to take personal phone calls. After 15 minutes I left the shop and sent an email to the manager saying his staff must get pretty good wages before commission if they can afford not to approach customers.


Interesting... I was in Chester about a month ago actually, and nearly went into the Dawsons as I was in the market for a new bass (ended up with my Corvette) but I was in a bit of a rush to get to a gig... went in another music shop there on one of the side streets with all of the olde english pub in which had a surprisingly good stock but terrible staff (and was full of tourists who clearly didn't actually play any instruments). Surprised they had Vigiers in music room, the one here stocks nothing but beginner instruments, at least as far as bass goes... the nicest I've seen in there was a Blacktop Jazz. There are some okay mid range guitar stuff, but nothing fancy. Alright if you're after a quick set of strings though.

John Swift 12-06-2012 09:57 AM

Think the topic has gone way off subject. :confused:

Obsolete80 12-06-2012 07:04 PM

Thanks for the advice, I'll have a look around over the weekend!

Sliide90027 12-15-2012 10:48 PM

I was around 16 and this Guy in the Retail Business in Newcastle, Wauchsberger I think, was talking to my dad in the Living Room and came to my room hearing me play and asked what I was playing on.

I told him Rotosounds. He said that they were garbage and he would send me real strings.

He sent me from England, a whole case of Vinci's.

I used them until I quit, ordering direct from the factory when touring. Then picked up a few sets after Washburn bought them out, now they have disappeared.

I used to get them for under $8 a set, even had the Guitarist in the Band using their strings at 4.50 a set. Last was $12.

Now I am on Elixers completely. Very happy with them until 5 years of rust and build up makes it necessary to change them.

I bought some Hartke Strings for my 5's as Backups since I do not play them much, but I will leave them ready for Elixers when I am flush again.

Gauge, I stay with .45 to 105 and .130 for the B. Entwistle was Right over all, and I am happy where he laid things out for the 4 string.


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